Am I being cynical in thinking that looking after ourselves only really became “fashionable” once capitalism got its hands on it as people started to realise that they could make money from it all? Of course the rise could also come from social and generational changes which I do hope is the main reason. Putting yourself first has always been a selfish act, let alone taking the time to do things for yourself that brings you joy for no other reason that it makes you happy. Or was that just the society I was brought up in? We were always told “do what you need before you do what you want” only issue being there were and still are a never ending list of things that need to be done. Having a balance between the two wasn’t even an option, which is one of the reasons why I struggle with it every day, especially since becoming ill.
My mornings start with taking my meds about an hour before I can get up, I usually spend that time chilling in bed listening to the radio. My brain is all over the pace, parts try to make sense of, and file my dreams into knowing that they were dreams while other parts of my brain start reminding me of all the things that need doing. I never ask myself what it is I would like to do with my day, it is always centred around my todo list and my health. I then try and get the basics done off that list in between sleeping and resting. Some days I manage to get more done but I never have the energy to spend the days like I use to be able to. You see before I became ill I would spend my days cleaning, looking after the children, and getting work done. I’d be able to stick to the routine of how life had been for a very long time, staying up later if needed just to make sure i’d got everything done ready to wake up the next day and repeat. I was twenty nine when I learnt there was more to life, but it then took me another thirteen years before I came to the realisation that I never looked after myself and this had impacted on my life in such a negative way that I was racked with guilt if I’d take ten minutes out of my day to enjoy a cuppa in the garden. Drinks were always drank while on the go, the reason for many a loss mugs of coffee in my life, not to mention the countless cups of tea left to go cold.
Self care isn’t just about slapping on a face mask while relaxing in a lush bubble bath. It is about taking the time to look after yourself physically and mentally daily. It is about finding what it is you need to make you happy, healthy, and content with life every single day. From the minute you wake up, to the minute you go to bed. We do so many things automatically, usually while we are thinking about bills, chores, worries, and even excitement for future plans, I don’t find that we do many things mindfully, to take the time to only concentrate on the task you are doing at that very moment.
So the question is “How can I make sure self-care is part of my everyday life?” That is what I plan on exploring. I have not been consciously doing anything to look after myself. I am not sure my current resting and sleeping lots counts as I am having no choice in what my body makes me do, and right now all it wants to do it eat carbs and sleep.